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Energy and lipid metabolism in yeast cells

Dr. Karin ATHENSTAEDT

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Picture: Athenstaedt, Karin, Priv.-Doz. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.

Athenstaedt, Karin, Priv.-Doz. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.

e-mail:karin.athenstaedt@uni-graz.at

Phone:+43 316 380 - 1988

In our research we focus on the biosynthesis of phosphatidic acid which plays a central role in lipid metabolism. Phosphatidic acid is an important intermediate not only in biosynthetic pathways yielding glycerophospholipids (membrane lipids), but also in triacylglycerol (storage lipid) synthesis. We investigate regulatory aspects of phosphatidic acid biosynthesis as well as the impact of defects in these regulatory processes on lipid (cell) metabolism. For these studies we use as our experimental system the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an invaluable model organism to determine the principles of lipid metabolic processes. In our studies we apply molecular biological, cell biological and biochemical methods.

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Assoz.-Prof. Dr. Klaus NATTER

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Picture: Natter, Klaus, Assoz. Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.

Natter, Klaus, Assoz. Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.

e-mail:klaus.natter@uni-graz.at

Phone:+43 316 380 - 1928, 5498

Dr. Oksana TEHLIVETS

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Picture: Tehlivets, Oksana, Dr.rer.nat.

Tehlivets, Oksana, Dr.rer.nat.

e-mail:oksana.tehlivets@uni-graz.at

Phone:+43 316 380 - 1995, 5500

Our research interests focus on the elucidation of the pathological mechanisms triggered by deficient methylation. The key enzyme of methylation metabolism, S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine hydrolase, is an exceptionally well-conserved enzyme exhibiting more than 70 % identity between human and yeast orthologs. Deficiency of this enzyme in humans leads to severe pathological consequences and is associated with the accumulation of the strong product inhibitor of S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet)-dependent methyltransferases, S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine (AdoHcy). Also a common pathological condition, hyperhomocysteinemia, exhibits the accumulation of AdoHcy that has been proven to be an even more sensitive marker than homocysteine for homocysteine-associated disorders.

Phospholipid methylation consumes the major amount of AdoMet both in yeast as well as in mammals. Its inhibition results in the accumulation of neutral lipids, but can also interfere with the membrane function, since phosphatidylcholine synthesized via phospholipid methylation displays higher levels of unsaturated fatty acids. In order to understand this and other mechanisms induced by AdoHcy accumulation we use, under application of biochemical, genetic and molecular biological methods, yeast as an experimental model.

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Dr. Heimo WOLINSKI

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Picture: Wolinski, Heimo, Mag. Dr.rer.nat.

Wolinski, Heimo, Mag. Dr.rer.nat.

e-mail:heimo.wolinski@uni-graz.at

Phone:+43 316 380 - 5489, 8683

Our research interests focus on the biogenesis and interactions of lipid droplets with other subcellular compartments. These universal organelles, from yeast to man, show multiple functions and play a critical role in lipid metabolism and energy homeostasis. Their dysfunction has been linked to different human diseases. We are especially interested in the spatio-temporal mechanisms of lipid droplet formation and maintenance at the molecular and cellular levels. Our studies involve molecular, cell biological, and analytical techniques. For cytological studies, we apply state-of-the-art bioimaging systems such as confocal laser scanning microscopy, selective plane illumination microscopy, CARS microscopy, or superresolution technologies (STORM). In addition, we develop and integrate advanced image-informatics methods for quantitatively assessing lipid droplet dynamics. We use genetically modified yeast model systems and mammalian cell systems to better understand the mechanistic basis of lipid-droplet-associated disorders in humans.

 

Working group Wolinski

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PhD, Dr. h.c., Univ.-Prof. i.R. Friedrich SPENER

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Spener, Friedrich, Univ.-Prof. Dr.

e-mail:fritz.spener@uni-graz.at

Phone:+43 316 380 - 5501

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